A ship full of start-ups finally set sail on San Francisco Bay after the ship’s owners had to prove their floating workspace was actually seaworthy.
The Maritol Icebreaker, and its on-board startups first hit the water last year. With office space hard to find in San Francisco, creators came up with the idea to move off shore.
But, that’s when the ship hit rough waters, with the Port of San Francisco taking issue with the floating office space for a dozen companies.
“I think it’s a great idea. It’s just that there are rules, and they have to be followed,” Renee Dunn Martin of the Port said.
To stay docked at Pier 50, the ship must be able to sail, and that was a problem considering the 135-foot boat hadn’t moved in years.
But, a full crew helped navigate the ship Sunday on a 45-minute trip to prove to port officials that it works.
“We accomplished something that was quite a while in preparation,” Maritol co-owner Creon Levit said.
The cruise was supposed to happen late last year, but weeks turned into months, and costs kept climbing. The former Icelandic ferry took tens of thousands of dollars in repairs according to the owners.
The ship’s owners still have a month-to-month lease with the port, but are hoping for a longer lease now that the ship can sail.